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Welcome to The Florida Radio Doctor's Radio Refinishing page
You've found my Refinishing page. Thanks for visiting. Now that you know the way, I hope you return often.
Refinishing vintage Radios is equal parts art, craft, science and love. I've been refinishing vintage Radios for over forty years. I specialize in AC radios from the late 1920's up to 1942, but will restore or repair certain radios right up through the 1950's.

Here's what else you can find on the site:
Welcome to The Florida Radio Doctor's Radio Refinishing page
Radio Refinishing header graphic

I'm Mark Miner, Proprietor of Mark's Antique Radio Kollection and known throughout the world as 'The Florida Radio Doctor'.

Any time I do a refinishing job:

  • I always strive to make the end result look as close to original as possible.
  • I strip the old finish using furniture refinisher, not stripper. This helps remove only the finish but leaves the rich patina of the original wood.
  • If the cabinet needs structual repair, veneer work or other work, I perform that after the stripping process.
  • Next sand the cabinet very smooth using fine sandpaper. This is a critical step. The smoother the better. I will then stain the cabinet if necessary, and only as a last resort.
  • I use only Mohawk nitrocellulose lacquer and spray with a professional spray gun and compressor. This is very important espically on large cabinets where you need a lot of volume. That way the finish lays down smooth.
  • I then build up the finish to fill the grain if needed sanding between coats.
  • Once that part is close to complete, I use toning laquers to color trim areas to look proper.
  • I then finish coating it to get the desired look.

For you, the customer, it is your call whether you want super shiny "piano" finish or something less shiny. It will be something we will discuss before the job is started.

At the end of the day, my goal is for you to be totally satisfied with the job. Sometimes the cabinet will not need to be completely striped and refinished. If it is a candidate, it can get what I call a finish restoration where I use as much of the origonal finish as possible. There is a technique I have developed over the years that has been very successful in accomplishing this. We can discuss your particular job and you can send me some photos via email and I can tell you what is needed. I have references for all work I do. Just ask.

Mark's Business CardContact Mark Miner Here
Click on my eMail address (above) to contact me directly

An extensive library of original manufacturers' repair manuals and parts manuals are absolutely essential.

Original tubes, capacitors and repair parts are a finite resource. But they're vital to a quality repair or restoration

I maintain one of the area's finest technical libraries of original, vintage manufacturers' repair manuals, in addition to hundreds of the corresponding parts lists and bulletins associated with each vintage manufacturer and its various lines

I keep a huge inventory of authentic, original equipment, vintage tubes, capacitors and other parts to provide the most authentic, accurate and precise repairs and restorations possible.

I maintain contact with a vast network of other collectors throughout the world. We readily share whatever information we can provide to each other regarding a specific brand or model. If I can't find an immediate source for a part or instruction, I can usually obtain at least an answer from the network within twenty-four to forty-eight hours in most instances.

There were literally hundreds of thousands of replacement tubes, caps and other critical repair parts available as late as the 1970s, but they're becoming harder and harder to find and obtain.

I often spend as much time finding reliable stores of replacement tubes and supplies as I do in researching specific models and their details. But every minute spent on research pays big dividends toward a quality restoration or repair.

I have an extensive, two-story, climate-controlled, moisture-controlled warehouse, parts store, and repair shop on the premises. I employ the finest hand tools and equipment currently available for my repairs and restorations.

Here's one of my own 1932 Philco Baby Grand Cathedral Table Radios

1937 Zenith 'Walton's' Table Model 7-S-232

I'll be posting some examples of both past and present projects from month to month, from links you'll find here. I treat each of my projects as if they're my own--at least until the last moment that I return them to their owners. I suppose it's like taking in a foster child until that moment they find a permanent family. That's as good an analogy as I can think of, in any case.

And yes, it's hard to let some of them go. But I know in each case that they'll be entrusted back to the owners that care for them the very most.

The common denominator in all of these fine examples of early to mid-20th century engineering is the incomparable sound that only a tube-powered radio or amplifier can impart. Despite all of the extraordinary technological advances in transistor and micro-circuitry technology dating from the mid-20th century until today, nothing yet approaches the full, mellow sound from a tube-powered radio chassis.

Sadly, the means of comparing that incredible, robust sound to today's artificially shaped sound technology remains a finite resource. But if you truly love that tube-powered sound, there's only one real way to obtain it.

One thing's for sure. Once you hear the difference there's no turning back.

You're hooked for life.